Mom Can't Keep Secret

Published: December 01, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

My mom has got a therapist for me for depression because I managed to tell her that I was feeling depressed lately, but the truth is... I actually have more going on right now then just depression. I hear voices sometimes, I've thought about killing myself/others, and sometimes I hurt myself. I don't want to tell my mom that anything else is wrong with me, because she'll worry- or think I'm making it up. I also don't know if I can tell my therapist either, because I know that she will tell my mom about it. Therapists HAVE to tell someone when you are suicidal, homicidal, or self-harming. So if I say anything, then EVERYONE will know, because my mom can't keep secrets. If my therapist finds out, it'll go straight to mom, who will tell her best friend... Who is the mom of one of my class-mates at school. And then my class-mate will tell HER friends, and soon the whole school will know that I hear voices. Suddenly I'll have a lot more to deal with then just my "issues".

Dear Mom Can't Keep Secret,

You are right that your therapist would have to break your confidentiality if you were a danger to yourself or someone else. The purpose of doing so would be to get you more intensive help and the proper support. You really need to tell your therapist the truth about how you have been feeling. It would also be important to tell your therapist why you were reluctant to confide in her. If she needs to have a conversation with your mother, then she will be aware of your privacy concerns and be able to address them. Making your personal struggles public would only add to the stress you are already experiencing. Your therapist will understand your concerns and also work with your mom to do what is best for you. This isn’t about keeping secrets. It is about getting you the proper help and there is no reason why your mom won’t be able to see that. TeenHealthFX implores you to have this conversation with your therapist on your next visit.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Atlantic Health at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline, 1-800-999-9999, 24 hours, 7 days a week





Signed: TeenHealthFX